Blogging looks so easy. Write a few posts, schedule them and voila! Instant success. If only… For every blogger that becomes an instant overnight sensation, there are tens of thousands of smaller bloggers toiling away everyday. When I began blogging I was a new to homeschooling mom who had quit my teaching job.  I loved my kids, but even though we were active in the local homeschooling groups, I missed adult interaction on a regular basis.  Slowly, along the way, my kids grew older and did less cute things for pictures and posts.  I decided to start a new blog and completely change the focus.  But, where to start? I had no idea.  I joined a several blog forums and began looking for ideas. I discovered certain blogger forms I made with Microsoft Home Office 365 made my life so much easier.   Here’s some blogging tips  I learned over the years.
Office 365 Blogger Forms

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Dishes Done Right: An Organization Story

by Pam on September 30, 2014

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen whipping up tasty treats.  I also love to entertain and want to have nice table setting for my guests.  Combine this with my love of picking up cute, low cost plates at the local thrift store to create mix & match table settings and, you guessed it, I have a problem.

Organizing the Kitchen with the Epson Label Works

Nicely organized after shot. Sorry, no messy before shots!

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Happy, Healthy Cat Tips & Hills Giveaway

by Pam on September 29, 2014

Crash. Bash. The antique vase was smashed. This was the story of my life when we got our oldest cat, Sassie. She spent as much of her time as possible sitting on top of furniture, pushing, pushing, pushing objects with her paw.  No matter how many times I moved her, she would return to her perch to happily try to push any available item to the floor.  It took me a while, but finally I wised up and purchased her a stocking full of toys for Christmas.  Now we have a house full of cats and cat toys. I’ve learned a lot about cat care over the years and know they need stimulation and physical activity  to help them be happy pets and healthy pets.
Okie looking cute
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“What am I going to eat?” my daughter asked when she was diagnosed with Celiac. Mealtimes were not so quick and easy anymore. I couldn’t stop for a quick round of fast food. My daughter also discovered she had a hard time hanging out with friends when they wanted to run out for pizza or a sandwich. I decided to make it my mission to find easy recipes that would appeal to everyone. Finding products like McCormick Gluten-Free recipe mix, which comes in four flavors and are made without gluten, MSG or artificial color has helped speed up my evenings. The best part? They are not more expensive than “regular mixes.” These easy gluten free recipes I am sharing today are great for Fall or Tailgating party. No one will know they are Gluten-Free recipes! It will be our secret.

I kick off (pun intended)our evenings with Cheesy Taco Dip. This smooth, creamy dip appeals to everyone, even the picky eleven year of the family who thinks sweets should be the 5th food group. I like to be sneaky and offer veggies for dippers, but it also goes great with Corn Chips. Here’s what you need to make it:

Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce package) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 package McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
1 cup (8 ounces) shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and place in a crock pot. Cook on low heat for four hours.

To keep anyone from crying foul, (don’t you love the football puns?) I serve up a speedy appetizer of Swedish Meatballs. I save time by purchasing packaged frozen gluten free meatballs. Of course, since this recipe only has four ingredients it comes together in a snap and can be made ahead so I can spend time with guests instead of cooking. Here’s how you make it:

You’ll need:
1 package (2 lbs) frozen meatballs
1 package McCormick Gluten-Free Brown Gravy Mix , prepared as directed on package
1 can (11 ounce) cream of mushroom soup
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
Directions:
Combine the gravy, mushroom soup and sour cream in a large saucepan. Add the meatballs and bring to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Keep toothpicks on hand for serving!

We round out our meal with this Chicken and Corn Chili recipe I found on AllRecipes.com. Using only one pot and coming together in 30 minutes, this Chili uses common pantry ingredients and saves me time and money. It’s also perfect for warming us up on a chilly fall day spent outdoors before the big game.

To keep the setting neutral when we are all rooting for different teams, I use football themed plates, napkins and bowls, along with a cute football centerpiece to set the mood.

Want to get rid of the gluten still have a tasty meal? Visit AllRecipes.com to discover more flavorful gluten free eating and meal ideas using McCormick Gluten Free Mixes! What’s your best gluten-free recipe redux? Share and you could win $1,000 from McCormick Gluten-Free. See here for Rules and Regulations.

Get rid of the gluten, but not the flavor with McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes! Visit the Recipe Collection at allrecipes.com to discover more flavorful gluten free eating and meal ideas!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mix. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Sharing the Savings- Dollar Tree Anniversary

by Pam on September 28, 2014

am excited to partner with Dollar Tree to let you know about their Anniversary Celebration.

It’s almost time for the fall holidays. Soon Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us. That means lots of decorating, making craft projects and goodie bags for various activities for the kids. The cost of all this can add up quickly. That’s why I make Dollar Tree my first stop. If you’re like me and want to save money too, be sure to attend  Dollar Tree’s Anniversary Celebration   from Sept. 28, 2014 through Oct. 11, 2014 with tons of new Bonus Buys with up to 58% more FREE for each item! The cost is still $1 and you can find cleaning supplies ,home décor, health and beauty care, snacks, beverages, and more. You can shop in stores or online, but qualities are limited.
dollar tree

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Southern Hospitality & Comfort: Hilton Garden Inn, Bowling Green

September 27, 2014

We had often driven through Bowling Green without stopping, but until recently, I had never realized all the attractions offered by the city! We spent a full day touring the sights and, after an evening of somehow managing to drench myself with water while kayaking, I was ready to settle down for the evening at [...]

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Company Coming? Speed Cleaning Tips to the Rescue! #Aplusvalues

September 26, 2014

This #APlusvalues shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias. “Hey, Pam, we’re in the neighborhood and thought we’d drop by. Is that all right?” We’ve all had this phone calls, right? That’s when we look around the house and panic. I always wonder why no [...]

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